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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 40, Number 6, Page 603 (1996)
Nontopical issue
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A fast, highly reliable data compression chip and algorithm for storage systems

by J.-M. Cheng, L. M. Duyanovich, D. J. Craft
Data compression allows more efficient use of storage media and communication bandwidth, and standard compression offerings for tape storage have been well established since the late 1980s. Compression technology lowers the cost of storage without changing applications or data access methods. The desire to extend these cost/performance benefits to higher-data-rate media and broader media forms, such as DASD storage subsystems, motivated the design and development of the IBMLZ1 compression algorithm and its implementing technology. The IBMLZ1 compression algorithm was designed not only for robust and highly efficient compression, but also for extremely high reliability. Because compression removes redundancy in the source, the compressed data become extremely vulnerable to data corruption. Key design objectives for the IBMLZ1 development team were efficient hardware execution, efficient use of silicon technology, and minimum system-integration overhead. Through new observations of pattern matching, match-length distribution, and the use of graph vertex coloring for evaluating data flows, the IBMLZ1 compression algorithm and the chip family achieved the above objectives.
Related Subjects: Algorithms; Codes and coding; Coding, arithmetic; Data compression; Data, structures and accessing